Probate and Estate Administration
Probate is a legal proceeding that gives authority to a Personal Representative (also known as an Executor) to administer the estate of a person who has died (the decedent). The responsibilities are to pay expenses, claims, taxes, and any other debts owed by the decedent, and distribute the remaining estate to those who are entitled to receive it either by a Last Will & Testament or by Colorado law.
Probate property, also known as the Probate Estate, consists of all property owned by the decedent at death, except assets owned with another as a joint owner, or with a beneficiary designation to someone at death. For example, a bank account owned with another as joint owner will not go through probate, but rather will go to the joint owner. Another example is a bank account that has only one owner who dies but had a “pay on death” beneficiary listed on the account, will not go through probate, but rather to the named beneficiary.
The process of managing every probate estate is unique, but most involve the following steps:
- A petition is filed with the proper probate court.
- Notice is given to heirs under the will or, if no will exists, to statutory heirs.
- A petition is filed to appoint an executor.
- The executor performs an inventory and appraisal of the estate assets.
- Valuing and distributing assets to the beneficiaries or heirs.
- Collecting all rights to income, dividends, etc.
- Payment of estate debt is made to rightful creditors.
- Estate assets are sold.
- Estate taxes are paid, if applicable.
The process of probate administration can be complex and time-consuming. After the death of a loved one, the last thing most people want to deal with is trying to figure out the loved one’s estate. Let us help you with this task during this stressful, grief-stricken time. Working with an attorney experienced with probate and estate administration at Clawson & Clawson, LLP will make the process easier to navigate. Your attorney will be available and by your side throughout the whole process. Please call Clawson & Clawson, LLP today to schedule your free initial consultation.
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